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City Council Minutes

March 8, 1999

 

The City Council met in regular session at 7:00 p.m. with Mayor David J. Wooten presiding.

Those Commissioners in attendance were: Commissioners Watkins, Saunders and Vickers.

Mr. Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer.

Commissioner Watkins moved to approve the minutes of the March 1st City Council meeting; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried.

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION REPORT

Commissioner Saunders advised that the Planning and Zoning Commission, at their regular meeting of March 2, 1999, voted unanimously with a quorum present to make the following recommendations to Council:

Hyatt Regency / Quadrangle Development Corporation

Zoning Statute / City Code Section 20-15(D): The Commission recommends that the Council approve the proposed zoning statute, with a modification to page 2, Section (b)(2): that the 200 acres be changed to 20 acres. Commissioner Saunders made a motion to accept their recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Watkins.

Commissioner Saunders mentioned that there were other changes that were not represented in here and she has no problem with the Council approving the Commission's recommendation but she feels this needs to be read very carefully after the public hearing and before a final decision is made. The proposal was for 200 acres and one of the Commission's members thought this was a bit steep because, as the attorney had pointed out to them, there are four other properties that could be developed as waterfront that do not reach 200 acres. Motion then carried unanimously.

Planned Water Resort District-PWRD-l / Development Standards: The Commission recommends that the Council approve the Development Standards with the necessary corrections and additions to the proposed draft. Commissioner Saunders said this pertains to the Hyatt only. She then made a motion to accept the Commission's recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Master Development Plan: The Commission recommends that the Council approve the proposed Master Development Plan. Commissioner Saunders made a motion to accept the Commission's recommendation and that Council read this carefully, before and after the public hearing, before a final decision is made. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and carried unanimously.

Mr. Collision advised that the Public Hearing has been scheduled for Monday, March 15-th at City Council Chambers at 7:00 p.m. and is being advertised.

PUBLIC HEARING: OHANA CREATIONS / ROBERT LUBGUBAN

Mr. Collison advised that this is a public hearing for a special use permit for community and cultural activities at 410, 412 and 414 Race Street.

Mr. Pritchett stated that the public hearing was advertised in The Daily Banner on February 19th. Property was posted on March 3rd and area property owners were notified on March 3, 1999.

Mr. Robert Lubguban of Ohana Creations came forward to state that he plans to open a retail cultural art and cultural center to teach hula, canoe paddling and to hold different types of cultural seminars on Hawaiians and native American Indians.

Commissioner Saunders questioned Mr. Lubguban as to which building he was planning on using and he stated it would depend on the special use permit as to how much space he would need. Mr. Lubguban also advised that his hours of operation would be during the daytime, no evening hours. He also plans different types of arts and crafts that will be open to the public to participate in. It was further determined that there would be no types of weapons used or sold.

Mr. Lubguban invited everyone to White Marsh Elementary School in Trappe for a luau that they are holding there as a fund raiser for the school on April 17th.

Mr. Gage Thomas, 1502 Race Street, came forward stating that he is one of three partners who own the three sites in question. To answer Commissioner Saunders question, they didn't feel it was prudent to sign a lease on a building unless the use would be permitted. Mr. Thomas said that he would approve this request regardless of where it went downtown since it is of such a noncontroversial nature. Mr. Lubguban's primary business is retail although he is looking forward to forming a canoe racing team and Mr. Thomas feels this would be "fantastic" especially with the waters of the Choptank River and the coming of the Hyatt. Mr. Thomas said he would be in favor of the special use permit at the location stated.

Commissioner Saunders stated for the record that she has no problem with what Mr. Lubguban is recommending since he has dropped the weapons, but "I'm going to have problems with the boat concept ... I don't know the exact location... I might as well say it now."

With no further comments, for or against, Commissioner Watkins made a motion to close the public hearing. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Vickers and carried unanimously.

BID OPENINGS FOR BACKHOE FOR D.P.W. (CONTRACT #98-06)

Mr. Kinnamon proceeded to open and read the bids:

1) Jones Implement - East New Market, MD

declined to bid

2) Chesapeake Supply & Equipment - Dover, DE

declined to bid

3) Eastern Shore Tractor Co. - Accomac, VA

$41,478.00

4) Alban Tractor - Baltimore, MD

$38,164.00

5) Folcomer Equipment Corp. - Greenwood, DE

$42,447.00

6) L. B. Smith Inc. - Jessup, MD

$43,030.00

Commissioner Watkins moved to refer the bids to the Department of Public Works for their review and recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Kinnamon then read another bid from Folcomer Equipment which was overlooked:

7) Folcomer Equipment Corp.

$41,748.00

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to add the bid that was overlooked; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

AWARD BID FOR GRASS CUTTER FOR D.P.W. (CONTRACT #98-07)

Mr. Pritchett stated that, after careful review and comparing specifications, the Department of Public Works recommends to award Contract #98-07 to E. S. Hubbert & Son of Cambridge in the amount of $13,194.00 for the purchase of a Gravely Promaster 400.

Commissioner Watkins moved to accept the recommendation of the Department of Public Works to award the contract to E. S. Hubbert & Son. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Vickers and it carried unanimously.

PROCLAMATION FOR "CAMBRIDGE MARCH FOR JESUS DAY"

Mr. Kinnamon proceeded to read the proclamation declaring Saturday, May 22, 1999 as "Cambridge March For Jesus Day".

In the absence of Reverend Sharon Boggess, who was supposed to be present this evening, Commissioner Saunders made a motion to table this item until the March 22nd meeting so details of the march can be finalized. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and it carried unanimously.

REFER REQUEST TO PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION

A request was received from Laura Renee Clayton for a special use permit to operate a day care center at 417 Robbins Street. She is currently licensed at 306 Boundary Avenue but is requesting a special use permit for her new location

Commissioner Watkins moved to refer this request to the Planning & Zoning Commission; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST TO HOLD ANNUAL EASTER EGG HUNT

Commissioner Vickers advised that a letter was received from the Dorchester County Recreation and Parks Board requesting to have their annual Easter Egg Hunt at Great Marsh Park.

He then made a motion to approve for the County Recreation and Parks Board to hold their Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 27th at 11:00 a.m. (rain date Sunday, March 28th at 2:00 p.m.) on the condition that they be notified they have to furnish their own toilet facilities if they feel they need any. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and it carried unanimously.

APPROVE BUDGET AMENDMENTS FOR POLICE DEPARTMENT, FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION AND D.P.W.

Mr. Kinnamon advised that Commissioner Swafford has reviewed the three budget amendments and he has no problem with them.

Since these have been reviewed by the Financial Chairman, Commissioner Watkins moved to approve the budget amendments; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVE BUDGETED EXPENDITURES OVER $250.

Commissioner Watkins moved to approve the budgeted expenditures over $250.; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

Mr. Pritchett advised that tonight at 11:00 p.m. the water will be shut off in the Meteor Avenue area to finish up the repairs. Plans are to restore the water between 3:00 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. as to not affect the businesses. The State Highway Administration has given proper notice to those affected.

He also announced that the creek bridge will be closed as was discussed months ago for the repairs of the surrounding piers. This will happen from March 15th through March 19th. Notification will be placed in the newspaper by the State Highway Administration. The area businesses have been visited personally and the impact should be minimized.

COMMENTS FROM MAYOR WOOTEN

Mayor Wooten mentioned the fact that Commissioner Rice is sick and Commissioner Swafford had business out of town and that is-the reason for their absences this evening.

The Mayor then proceeded to read a letter from the Maryland State Police that was directed to Ms. Dawn Windsor, Director of C.E.M.S. recognizing Wylie Gray, Ryan Killough, Matt Watkins, Scott Redmer and Dawn Windsor for their valiant efforts in handling an emergency call on October 13, 1998.

Mayor Wooten felt our E.M.S. crew deserves an accommodation for that and he wanted to share what a wonderful job they do.

He then went on to say that he represented the City last week at a meeting in Annapolis on the "One Maryland" program". Much effort has gone into this program which creates, for qualifying jurisdictions, an economic development infrastructure revolving fund for the development of water and sewer lines, roads, industrial parks and other needed infrastructure expenditures. The distressed counties outlined in the "One Maryland" program were those counties having unemployment of more than 150% of the state average ... Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset and Worcester. The economic development task force is going to be established to study the aspects of structures, economic development, transportation technology, hospitality industry, government services, agriculture and natural resources, correctional industry, health, education, high tech industries, water treatment and seafood.

Mayor Wooten thinks it is noteworthy that the Governor and Speaker Taylor are cooperating in this and there are going to be some serious efforts made to help alleviate the difficulties that low income areas historically have had for many years. The state is going to invest themselves heavily in this program for the benefit of Cambridge and Dorchester County. He is very pleased at what they are going to do for us and wanted everyone to be aware of what is going on.

COMMENTS FROM THIRD WARD

Commissioner Saunders referenced a memo from Mr. Pritchett regarding direction on paving of parking lots. She asked that this be put on the next regularly scheduled meeting on March 22nd.

She then addressed a memo from Mr. Wheeler with reference to Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. and made a motion that this request be given to all the Department Heads in writing to let them handle it with their employees. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins who said that his feeling on the whole matter is that Council is offering this to the employees without prejudice ... whether good or bad, it is up to the individual person to make a judgment. Motion then carried unanimously.

She then noted that the travel schedule for the March 12th tour of Cambridge had to be revised today since three areas were left off. If no one has any objections, she asked that Kathy Foster be advised to finalize it.

Commissioner Saunders then made a motion that Council hold a brief Executive Meeting involving real estate and personnel this evening; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders referenced a letter from the County Commissioners dated March 5th regarding their donating equipment to the City. Commissioner Vickers stated that he has been involved in two meetings with the County and they are in the process of gathering prices based on installing this "so called free equipment". Just because you get a hundred and some thousand dollars worth of equipment, it doesn't mean it's the greatest thing in the world. It may cost a lot of money to utilize it.

Commissioner Saunders pointed out that the equipment isn't free because the County wants the City to write-off $31,681. that "they owe us." She then made a motion that Mr. Kinnamon be allowed to refresh their memories in the form of a letter; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

On another note, Commissioner Saunders stated that she had called Commissioner Tom Flowers last week with reference to the "One Maryland" program to ask how they were handling their recommendations as well as their adoption of their comprehensive plan. He informed her that the City needed to get a letter in by March 15th to the Governor and Mr. Casper Taylor to let them know that the City has adopted a comprehensive five year plan and when it was adopted. She then made a motion to allow the letter to be drafted for the Mayor's signature and that it be forwarded; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM SECOND WARD

Commissioner Watkins stated that he thinks the City and the County are moving well and he is happy to be a part of it.

COMMENTS FROM FIRST WARD

Commissioner Vickers shared a letter addressed to the Mayor whereby the District Court (Judge John L. Norton, III) was very happy that the Traffic and Safety Committee approved the directional sign.

COMMENTS FROM CITY ATTORNEY

Mr. Collison referred to his draft of a Standard Operating Procedure which Commissioner Saunders had requested him to put together. He asked to have this put on the March 22nd agenda for approval.

COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

Mr. Gage Thomas, as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, requested that the public be made aware of their meeting tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. It was pushed back one week due to the Hyatt's meeting last Tuesday.

He then asked what makes up the $31,000. referenced to earlier that the County owes the City. Mr. Kinnamon advised that it is 50% of the expenses related to 911 costs (salaries, uniforms, benefits, etc.)

MORE COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

Mr. John Donalin, 5450 Tates Bank Road, came forward regarding the Planning and Zoning Commission's new zoning for the proposed Hyatt resort. He wanted help in understanding where that stands today. Commissioner Saunders gave him the report from the Planning and Zoning Commission that was read earlier this evening. Commissioner Watkins advised that there is a public hearing next Monday night and he can ask any questions at that time.

With no further comments, meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting of Monday, March 8, 1999 insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer